While wild foxes and land-clearing have impacted the spotted-tail quoll population on the South Coast, a live-trapping exercise has had positive results so far.
The spotted-tail quoll, which can be distinguished by its short legs, pink nose and pointed face, has been under close observation by ‘Team Quoll’ over recent years.
Team Quoll is a group that describes itself as “an intrepid quiver of researchers and citizen scientists from the University of Wollongong on a daring quest to find and conserve the spotted-tailed quoll”.
Beginning on Wednesday, May 13 Team Quoll took part a live-trapping program to measure the health of the the quolls in Budderoo National Park.
The trapping program is being lead by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) threatened species unit from the Saving our Species program, as part of the Quollidor project.
The exercise is being conducted to measure demography and to gather genetic samples which will assist in future conservation.
On Wednesday, a male weighing 3.78kgs was captured, considerably larger than the average weight of 3.3kgs.
The ‘Quollidor’ is the name given to the connected vegetation corridor that links the quoll’s habitat from the South Coast escarpment forests, to the Metropolitan Special Area water catchments across to the southern Blue Mountains.
Infra-red camera surveys have revealed that quolls are still present in the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Budderoo National Park.
The project has identified Broger’s Creek, Upper Kangaroo River, Carrington Falls and Knights Hill/Pheasant Ground as priority areas for increased fox control that will support the intensive control programs already occurring in the national parks.
The Quollidor project is supporting private land managers to reduce fox numbers in these areas and increase the core area of enhanced Quollidor habitat.